The "Game Drive" was introduced several years ago, in fact if we look back in the archives, you will see the very first game drive solutions were reviewed in September and November of 2015 on TweakTown. Back then, Xbox One and PS4 had only been on the market two years and drive capacity wasn't the biggest concern.
Fast forward to the present and capacity has been pushed up to 3,4 and 5TB with a plethora of games available for each system respectively. Over the last few years, Seagate has been the dominant brand behind the "Game Drive" market. They have produced a good number of solutions for both PS4 and Xbox including several exclusive models for Gears of War and Halo Wars on Xbox.
That said, WD has had a pseudo Gaming Drive brought over from their My Passport lineup for a few years but never had the marketing behind it. That changes today. With the launch of the Game Drive P10 and Game Drive P10 for Xbox, WD is going all in on the "Game Drive" market and using its well known WD Black branding to do it.
Going all the way back to the early 2000s, WD Black has had strong roots in gaming, being one of the first to offer a high-performance consumer solution with the WD Raptor and WD Velociraptor.
Starting our journey with the P10, I was able to get both models in house for review. Capacity options for the Xbox One solution include 1,3 and 5TB while the standard P10 is offered in 2,4 and 5TB. The chassis for each model aides in identification with the standard having an all-black aesthetic with branding on top and the Xbox model offering a white chassis and black covers top and bottom. Performance is identical for each model with marketing offering up to 130 MB/s taking advantage of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 and the aging Micro B connector.
MSRP for the 5TB Game Drive P10 comes in at $149.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging is clean for each model with the Xbox solution offering a unique colorway. Performance and capacity is noted bottom right along with an image of the drive centered.
The overall aesthetic of the drive is quite similar apart from the chassis of the Xbox model. Each drive offer WD Black branding on top with relevant model and form factor identification.
Both solutions use the Micro B connector.
Testing performance of the P10, we start with CDM. Above, we gathered 131 MB/s read and 127 MB/s write.
Running through PCMark8 Storage testing I pulled results from the two gaming benchmarks available. Results are given in seconds with lower being better; As you can see, I was able to run a number of comparable solutions through as well, including the latest 5TB Game Drive from Seagate. Results show the P10, Xbox and Standard coming in around 363 seconds with BF3 and 121 seconds with WoW.
Raw PCMark8 results for those interested are seen above.
After using these solutions over the last few weeks, I certainly find more benefit for the P10 with the Xbox One and the ability to keep more games installed. For PS4 or PC the options for upgrading internal storage make these external solutions moot. That said for anyone that wants quick add-on storage these do provide just that.
Build quality of the WD Black P10 is top notch and in my honest opinion a step above the Game Drive lineup from Seagate. Taking the extra time to design an entire drive lineup that matches aesthetically gives these solutions a better overall feel to them instead of being the obvious case swap solutions of the past.
Narrowing our focus on the performance, the Game Drive P10 did quite well in both of our testing scenarios. CDM showed it to have 130 MB/s read and 127 MB/s write in sequential testing and PCMark8 offered solid results only a touch slower than the comparable solution from Seagate.
If we move over to pricing, the 5TB Game Drive P10 comes in at $149.99, matching the latest iteration of the Seagate solution. Where WD pulls a fast one is with warranty, offering 3 years on each of their solutions while Seagate only offers 1-year.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
Hands down for your hard earned dollars, the P10 is the most complete capacity driven "Game Drive" on the market backed by a three-year warranty.